March 2020 will forever be remembered in history. Staying safe and healthy (physically, mentally, financially) during CoVid 19 is our top priority.
Right now many of us are pivoting, adjusting, and figuring out how to stay productive and on-top of what needs doing in order to come out of this ahead.
Right now, you may be working from home temporarily, (or maybe your future goal is to build your business to allow you to work from home full-time). In recent years, remote work has become more common and easier to accomplish.
Below are my five tips to working remotely; that you may not have considered, and for those of you who may be new to working from home.
Working from home does not easily provide the natural boundaries of time and space that a workplace / office environment provides.
Therefore, it’s important to create some sort of physical boundary at home.
Not many of us have a separate home office, so It’s important to dedicate a room or a part of a room to use as your office space, to help you develop boundaries between your work and your home life.
Ideally, it should be a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted by family members or other distractions. Don't work from your bed, this is your designated sleep / switch work off zone.
For me, I have two main spots within my home that I prefer to use - standing and seated. My seated work space is outside on my patio so I can work in sunlight, and my standing workspace is on my kitchen countertop area where I can stand with my back and vision away from TV or outside distractions.
It may be tempting to roll out of your bed and begin working immediately, or check your Instagram feed, texts, emails on your phone, while you’re still in bed. This is never an option for me.
Work and digital attention needs to be on your terms. Being physically awake, hydrating, setting your immediate surroundings, and preparing yourself up mentally before committing to any kind of digital communication / work is by far the most productive way to attack the day.
It’s best to develop good habits and a routine, just as you would do if you were commuting to work. Get up, hydrate, move your body, get sunlight, shower, get dressed, organize your space, then attack your work tasks and begin your communication.
It is important to make a list of projects you are working on, and assign priorities and due dates to the projects. For instance, if you have three long-term projects that require a handful of tasks to be completed, then assign a realistic amount of time to each one, whether the goal is to complete the tasks or simply to make some progress. Remember you don’t have to always complete everything, things can be a work in progress, but make sure you make the progress.
It helps to share/delegate the tasks, projects, completion goals and progress with your clients, business partners, teammates and work colleagues, that way everyone remains accountable and are kept in the loop, communication is key for overall efficiency.
Sticking to a timed plan is far easier when working remotely because you are less likely to be pulled into unexpected meetings, everything can be scheduled on your terms.
If you’re working in a team where some are onsite and some are remote, then your strength as a remote member of the team is being able to complete projects.
Some project management apps you may want to look into if you’re not already using them:
Don’t forget to eat. It can be easy to get caught up in what you’re doing and forget to stop for lunch, to hydrate or to snack to fuel the brain.
Take a half-hour away from your computer at regular intervals throughout the day. I never sit and eat while working. Make sure you have water next to you and drink throughout the day, water is oxygen, the brain needs oxygen to function at its peak.
Getting caught up in work and sitting for hours can mean you lose track of time, forget to get up and move.
I like to work standing or if seated, in sunlight. Try to get up and move for at least a few minutes, every 45-60 minutes. If necessary, set a timer to remind yourself.
Go outside, walk up and down the stairs, walk around the house, do 10 mins. of mobility exercises, wrestle the dog for a bit, do what you can to keep your body moving, it keeps blood flowing to the brain so you can perform your tasks at your best.
When you’re done for the day, make sure you are 100% done. Shut down your computer, turn down the lights, leave your work area, do not respond to work related communication until the next day. Unless there’s a very good reason, don’t check your email, texts or anything that may trigger more work related tasks throughout the evening.
Establishing good remote work patterns is just as important as developing good sleep patterns and it will go a long way toward making your work, your business, your career a successful endeavor, whether temporarily or long-term.
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